The vagaries of self-reports of physical activity: A problem revisited and addressed in a study of exercise promotion in the over 65s in general practice

St George's, University of London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom
Family Practice (Impact Factor: 1.86). 05/1999; 16(2):152-7. DOI: 10.1093/fampra/16.2.152
Source: PubMed


The assessment of levels of physical activity relies upon suitable measurement tools.
We aimed to investigate whether a practice nurse, using a motivational interview technique, could encourage older patients to increase their physical activity.
Health and well-being were monitored at baseline and 8 weeks following intervention. Physical activity levels were ascertained using both a self-report measure and ambulatory heart-rate monitoring.
Whilst patients reported higher levels of physical activity at follow-up, this finding was not confirmed by the heart-rate data.
The study concludes that patients tend to overestimate the amount of physical activity undertaken and that ambulatory heart-rate monitoring may be more useful for verifying actual behaviour.

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    • "Personality traits, social desirability and social approval were recognized to be possible sources of systematic bias [33]. Since TKA patients are encouraged by doctors and therapists to exercise, we suppose that patients in this study tended to overestimate their physical activity to attain social approval and desirability of the investigator at the first session [34]. In contrast, knowing that the PASE total score referred to the week objectively assessed by the accelerometer, patients committed to report their physical activities more precisely and truthfully at the second session. "
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    ABSTRACT: The need for valid and reproducible questionnaires to routinely assess the physical activity level of patients after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is of particular concern in clinical settings. Aims of this study were to evaluate the validity and reproducibility of the physical activity scale for the elderly (PASE) questionnaire in TKA patients, with a particular view on gender differences. A total of 50 elderly patients (25 women and 25 men aged 70 ± 6 years) following primary unilateral TKA were recruited. The reproducibility was evaluated by administering the PASE questionnaire during two occasions separated by 7 days. The construct (criterion) validity was investigated by comparing the physical activity level reported by patients in the PASE questionnaire to that measured by accelerometry. Reproducibility was evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC3,1) for reliability and standard error of measurement (SEM) and smallest detectable change (SDC) for agreement, while validity was investigated with Pearson correlation coefficients. Reliability of the PASE total score was acceptable for men (ICC = 0.77) but not for women (ICC = 0.58). Its agreement was low for both men and women, as witnessed by high SEM (32% and 35%, respectively) and SDC (89% and 97%, respectively). Construct validity of the PASE total score was low in both men (r = 0.45) and women (r = 0.06). The PASE questionnaire has several validity and reproducibility shortcomings, therefore its use is not recommended for the assessment of physical activity level in patients after TKA, particularly in women.
    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 02/2014; 15(1):46. DOI:10.1186/1471-2474-15-46 · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Most primary prevention studies rely on participants' self-reports of physical activity levels, and these levels are often over-and under-reported. Studies find disagreement between self-reported levels of physical activity and levels measured using other methods such as accelerometers, pedometers, heart rate monitors, and direct observation, and usually find that physical activity levels are over-reported and sedentary activities are under-reported (DOH, 2010; Prince et al, 2008; Sims et al, 1999). This may be due to inaccurate recall, or due to social desirability bias, where respondents report levels of activity which will be seen as more favourable (Adams et al, 2005). "

    Edited by Nathan L. Hicks & Rodney E. Warren, 01/2012; Nova Science Publishers., ISBN: 978-1-62257-364-6
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    • "However, the effects of the approach imagery on activity levels did not lead to corresponding group differences in resting heart rate. Research in exercise physiology has utilized several other, more sophisticated ways, such as the use of a heart rate monitor, to collect heart rate data (e.g., Sims et al., 1999). However, these techniques are typically useful for detecting changes at moderate to vigorous intensity levels, and not at low activity levels (Janz, 2002), and decreases in resting heart rates over a four-week period are usually small (Wilmore et al., 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Self-regulation theory and research suggests that different types of mental imagery can promote goal-directed behaviors. The present study was designed to compare the efficacy of approach imagery (attainment of desired goal states) and process imagery (steps for enacting behavior) in promoting physical activity among inactive individuals. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 182 inactive adults who received one of four interventions for generating mental images related to physical activity over a 4-week period, with Approach Imagery (approach versus neutral) and Process Imagery (process versus no process) as the intervention strategies. Participants received imagery training and practiced daily. Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed that Approach Imagery: (1) increased approach motivations for physical activity at Week 4; (2) induced greater intentions post-session, which subsequently induced more action planning at Week 4; (3) enhanced action planning when combined with process images at post-session and Week 1; and (4) facilitated more physical activity at Week 4 via action planning. These findings suggest that inducing approach orientation via mental imagery may be a convenient and low-cost technique to promote physical activity among inactive individuals.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 06/2011; 35(3):347-63. DOI:10.1007/s10865-011-9360-6 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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